Visiting with DD's Birth Father - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 11-16-2011, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter (in foster care at eight months, moved to me at nine and a half months, and adopted last November) has only seen her birth father once. She wasn't quite two so she has no memories of him, although we look at his picture every once in a while. She'll be five in the winter and still has never expressed an interest in how babies are "made" and since I'm a single mom and DS (also adopted) doesn't know his birth father, the subject doesn't come up.

 

I've always wanted contact with her birth father but circumstances haven't allowed it up to now. I got to see him in court six weeks ago when he was there for DD's baby brother's who are currently in care. He's come faithfully to all his scheduled visits with the babies and their pre-adoptive parents are planning to have frequent visits with him even after they finalize.

 

We're going to do a joint visit on Friday and I'm kind of looking forward to it and kind of nervous. He's a nice man, he's just not able to parent his kids. I know he's got a car full of gifts that he's bought for DD over the years. That should be interesting. I think that my DS will handle that ok.

 

Wish us luck.

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#2 of 57 Old 11-17-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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I am hope it goes wonderfully :) I love hearing stories of healthy birth parent contact. We were not blessed with that and I think it is so important.


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#3 of 57 Old 11-17-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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Good luck! I hope you can maintain a decent relationship with him and the situation with the gifts turns out ok! i can see how that might get awkward.


Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#4 of 57 Old 11-17-2011, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Since we speak different languages, we'll mostly communicate through an interpreter. I suspect, he'll mostly watch the kids play and maybe even bring some things for the kids to do at a table (like he did for his hello/goodbye visit when she was little.) They have their visits at a library and I'm hoping there's a room they go into. I cant' see how biweekly visits with two babies would work otherwise.

 

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#5 of 57 Old 11-17-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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I hope it all goes well.


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#6 of 57 Old 11-18-2011, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I'll give an update when we get home. We've got a Pre-K Thanksgiving lunch to get through first.

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#7 of 57 Old 11-18-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Good luck!


Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.

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#8 of 57 Old 11-18-2011, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're home. It was way more stressful than I ever could have imagined. I'll post more later but I think this was the hardest day I've had since I started fostering.

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#9 of 57 Old 11-18-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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Ugh. That sucks. :(  I was hoping more for a "that was fun, everyone had a great time!" kind of post!


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#10 of 57 Old 11-19-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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#11 of 57 Old 11-19-2011, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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(Long and windy post ahead.)

 

It wasn't horrible but I think we had different expectations. We were in the children's department of a small library and there was no one there for most of the hour that we were. There was an open carpeted area with chairs around it. DD spent the first 15 minutes hiding under a chair. Mostly to be silly but I think the big hug/embrace he gave her when we got there confused her. DD is usually a really outgoing and friendly child who loves other people's daddies. This wasn't the child I saw yesterday. She was tired from school but she had no idea who this man was. We've got many "Daddy" friends and neighbors but they don't usually hold her in their arms and speak to her in a language she doesn't understand. She went from hiding under the chairs and being silly with the other kids who were there (the foster sisters and DS) to putting her head down on her stuffed bunny (at a table) and hiding her face in her hair. Eventually, I got her to look through a book. When I thought she might be receptive to people being near her, I invited the whole group over to sit at her table. Again, he sat too close to her and was stroking her hair. She shut down again. It was confusing for her and hard for me to watch.

 

He brought her a bag of clothes and a new bike. He had wanted to give her the bike when we first got there but I didn't want that. He gave it to her in the parking lot and DS was pissed because he just learned to ride a bike and HE didn't have one (he's getting one for Christmas.) And DD (who had perked up when she was playing with the foster dad and when she saw the BIKE) was crying because she knew that I would take off the training wheels. So, that part was just...great. She's not ready for a 16" bike. I'd like her to just keep using her balance bike and then move to a bigger bike when she's ready. I'd even buy her a 14" bike since that 's what would really fit her. But, of course, she loves the shiny princess bike. LOL. She cried on the way home because she said she missed him, but that's only because she gave him the bike. And DS wanted to know when he was going to meet his "Spanish family." Because he wants a bike, too. Argh.

 

He's great with DD's baby brothers because they are just that. Babies. And they'll grow up knowing him. She has no clue who he is and he wasn't able to read her signals. I can't imagine what it's like having a child  that you've only seen twice in almost five years. That would kill me. But. if we see him again, we're going to have to talk about boundaries. I made the mistake (which I own) of assuming that the visit would be like the ones we have with DS's birth family. None of the mushy,gushy, stuff. Just playing or watching the children play. Plus, I'M not touchy/feely so it was strange seeing someone that close to my child.

 

If we can work out the boundary issue, I think we'd meet (when it gets warmer) at a park or something. I know that the babies foster mom thinks that it would make it too easy for the kids to scatter and not have a "real" visit, but that's what I'd prefer. The foster mom will get it when we have a chance to talk. She's really cool and doesn't want to force anything. I love THEM and we'll see them as often as we can (there's 90 minutes between our houses.)

 

So, my expectation of visits with E. is the kids playing together (DD and DS as well as the bio sibs and pre-adoptive sisters) and some interaction with the adults when it makes sense. I do think that if he wants a relationship with DD over time, that he is going to need to make a effort to learn to speak English. She'll learn some Spanish in school and I'd like to learn it but he really needs to be able to speak to her directly. I'm not sure if he's able to do that but it's really the only way I can see it working well.

 

 

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#12 of 57 Old 11-19-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Well, that sounds stressful, but not as bad as I was imagining! 

 

My .02 - your DD needs more context about this touch-feely guy with the bike, and how special her relationship with him is. She needs to know that he's her birthfather, planted the seed that made her, etc. etc., and that his love for her isn't creepy or inappropriate or unusual. He's NOT your friend or your neighbor, and behavior that would righteously freak her out if the man next door tried it is behavior she can hopefully learn to be comfortable with from her dad. It's too bad dad can't ease into a bit more - but he didn't choose his limitations in life, and if there's going to be contact, then to some extent the traditionally-abled people in the triad need to accept him as he is. 

 

Also, let her keep the training wheels for a little while - they were part of the special present from her dad. If she happens to love them (which I doubt, as she's used to the smooth ride of a balance bike), even then I would not sweat it. I agree that training wheels aren't ideal, but my 5-year-old enjoys hers and I' have every confidence that she won't be using them when she's 12. 

 

I agree with you on the language issue. If I were to adopt my current foster child, I would not encourage/allow people to have any kind of conversation with him that excluded me. He's too little to know when people are playing him or lying to him, and it's my job to be able to run interference for him with anybody who might try. This is my first big issue for the GAL when we finally get one - to make sure that visitation isn't a two-hour-long private conversation where the monolingual social worker is just siting there technically "supervising," but really, letting mom say whatever crazy lies occur to her. (Tough week with Zeke's case, as though you couldn't tell from my bitter rant.) Having an interpreter attend the visitation is a solution for now - long term, the solution is you and DD gaining basic fluency in Spanish. 

 

It's really too bad that your DD wasn't able to have this visitation from babyhood on. I know that you were open to that, and I'm sorry that other factors precluded it until now. There's a lot of hard work to be done to fill in that gap in the relationship. For subsequent visits, maybe you could just bring DD and have your other kids stay with a friend or something? So you can be 100% focused on helping her out and she can enjoy her gifts without having to deal with sibling jealousy immediately? 

 

You're a great mom, Polliwog. 

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#13 of 57 Old 11-19-2011, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She's four. She doesn't know about how babies are made, although we've got a book. She's just not ready to understand the whole egg/sperm thing and I don't like the "planting a seed" analogy. What I want is for her to get to know him as a "person we know" first and then we can delve into relationships later. She obviously wasn't liking the contact. Unwanted touch, no matter who is doing it, is not ok with me. In her four-year-old mind, he's no different than our friends or neighbors. It's hard to describe how uncomfortable it was for me, and for her.

 

I really think we need a change of venue.and some clear boundaries set. My son (and likely the babies and their pre-adoptive sisters) will be there at visits. My daughter is part of a family. I want him to see what her relationship is with her brother. She's at all the visit with his birth mother and grandmother. And I feel more comfortable having her baby brother's foster parents there. They know him more than I do, and honestly it helped ME to have some other adult to whisper to when I was feeling stressed. It's also a 90 minute drive to get there. I'm not leaving DS home while I go sixty miles away. Meeting at a park would allow the kids to play (either with him or while he watches) and limit the intense one-on-one contact that she (and I) aren't ready for. I totally get that he's missed out on almost five years of her life. But, she doesn't know that.

 

As for the bike. She'll get to ride the bike when she's ready. She's barely 40" tall (and her legs aren't that long) and is not going to be able to handle a 16" bike. And really, the training wheels are non-negotiable. She's pretty close to being able to ride a two-wheeler independently but that bike is just too big. And DS JUST learned to ride a two wheeler eight days ago. If it was a longer period of time, it would be different but it's not. He's over being upset that she got new stuff. She's going to let him ride her bike. At least for the next month until my mom gets him one for Hannukah. He was mad that she had a big bike and he didn't. I'd be mad, too. She won't fit in most of the clothes that he sent. So, she'll get to donate them to a needy family (which she'll like doing.) In the future, I'll ask him to limit what he buys for her.

 

Having an interpreter is hard. DD is too little to know that the woman is speaking for him. And really most of what he said to her was in her ear and not translated. It was better than nothing but I can see both sides needing to learn more of the other language.

 

Thanks!

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#14 of 57 Old 11-19-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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I had no idea you were Jewish (or half-Jewish, or Jewish-affiliated, or whatever). That makes my day. luxlove.gif

 

I don't use the "planting a seed" metaphor, myself, because it makes me sound like a fertile field instead an equal DNA contributor orngtongue.gif But there must be some metaphor you can use. "In her four-year-old mind, he's no different than our friends or neighbors" - that's a big, big problem. It's not your fault and not of your making, but since you are your DD's only parent, it's right square on your shoulders to fix that by giving her an age-appropriate frame of reference. 

 

I can feel you on wanting to have the other biosiblings and their parents there. That makes sense. I really do think, though, that having your DS there at this time is stealing your focus a bit. You are worrying about his perceptions and his reactions and how the darn bike made HIM feel - and this visitation is just not. about. him. The initial hard work that needs to be done (including all those very reasonable boundaries that you want to set) does not involve him. Your daughter needs you 100% in these visits, until you either stop it because it's just not working, or the situation improves to the point where her brother can join in on a comfortable biofamily visit the way that she currently joins in on his HIS comfortable biofamily visits. She needs to be able to sit on your lap, or sit on the floor next to you, and have this strange man approach BOTH of you, and see you defend your space from scary incursions and simultaneously welcome and approve of a more-than-neighbors level of attention. It's tough stuff. It will take all your energy, and the last thing either of you need is bullpoopie about jealousy and presents on that long drive home. 

 

I may be a new foster parent, but with three biokids, I'm an old hand at saying "this is not about you, go do X, your sister needs my full attention in this moment." lol.gif

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#15 of 57 Old 11-19-2011, 11:28 PM
 
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I had no idea you were Jewish (or half-Jewish, or Jewish-affiliated, or whatever). That makes my day. luxlove.gif

 

I don't use the "planting a seed" metaphor, myself, because it makes me sound like a fertile field instead an equal DNA contributor orngtongue.gif But there must be some metaphor you can use. "In her four-year-old mind, he's no different than our friends or neighbors" - that's a big, big problem. It's not your fault and not of your making, but since you are your DD's only parent, it's right square on your shoulders to fix that by giving her an age-appropriate frame of reference. 

 

I can feel you on wanting to have the other biosiblings and their parents there. That makes sense. I really do think, though, that having your DS there at this time is stealing your focus a bit. You are worrying about his perceptions and his reactions and how the darn bike made HIM feel - and this visitation is just not. about. him. The initial hard work that needs to be done (including all those very reasonable boundaries that you want to set) does not involve him. Your daughter needs you 100% in these visits, until you either stop it because it's just not working, or the situation improves to the point where her brother can join in on a comfortable biofamily visit the way that she currently joins in on his HIS comfortable biofamily visits. She needs to be able to sit on your lap, or sit on the floor next to you, and have this strange man approach BOTH of you, and see you defend your space from scary incursions and simultaneously welcome and approve of a more-than-neighbors level of attention. It's tough stuff. It will take all your energy, and the last thing either of you need is bullpoopie about jealousy and presents on that long drive home. 

 

I may be a new foster parent, but with three biokids, I'm an old hand at saying "this is not about you, go do X, your sister needs my full attention in this moment." lol.gif


(bolding mine)

 

The thing is...even if dd knew and understood what "birth father" means....he is STILL a stranger to her. In fact, she would likely be MORE comfortable with "our friends or neighbors." You cant make a 4 yr old comfortable with a strange man whispering to her and pulling her into his lap simply by saying they are blood related. And given that the child does not have an adoptive father in her life, she can't even transfer those daddy feelings to him, she can't think "oh this man is like Daddy, only he's my birth daddy!"...I know exactly what this is like because my almost-4-yr old son doesnt at all get he has "another mommy", i tried explaining what a birthmother is, and i will keep explaining but right now they are words with no meaning. OTOH, when i told him he has an uncle (really a great-uncle) who visited him as a baby, he could almost understand that because he has other uncles, some of whom he has not met and he seemed to get that more.

 

As far as the DS goes. Again, i can relate. One (of many) reasons why im not yet pursuing any type of birthfather contact for one of my sons, is that i am not quite sure how to handle it was the other son. It would be truly awful to have one son showered with attention and gifts and the other have nothing. At least during foster visits, if bmom brought food or even gifts for her children, she brought something for mine(which i certainly didnt expect!) But with bdad, he would bring fun toys, unload them in the waiting room, then pack them up to go into the visitation room leaving my son crying because he couldnt understand where the toys went. Or he'd give one a twinkie right in front of my son, and my son could not understand why they shared EVERYTHING otherwise, but not there. I'm not doing that for the next many years. I know someone online who made it clear to birthfamily, you do for one you do for the other. You dont come for a visit and bring a gift for one and not the other (her kids, too, are virtual twins as mine are, which i think makes it harder.)

 

IMO the issue isnt so much that her DS' feelings were hurt, but rather he KNOWS what the steps are in their family to getting a certain type of bike, and having little sister simply bypass all that probably struck him as very unfair. Imagine that in your family, girls can get their ears pierced at 8 yrs old, its a big deal. Then little 4 yr old sister goes on a bfamily visit, and comes back with pierced ears and diamond earrings. Older sister would rightly be upset and mom would rightly wonder how to handle such things in the future. Obviously a bike isnt as "serious"...but overwhelming a child with gifts the first time you meet them isnt the best way to handle the situation, and hopefully they can find someone to help this man understand that he needs to slow down a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#16 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our family is made up of several religions. We observe both a secular Christmas and many Hannukah traditions. I have also taught in two different religious preschools.

 

DS is 7 and you can believe that he's been working hard mastering the skills it takes to ride a bike. He's been riding DD's KaZAM (balance) bike and his scooter. He's been occasionally riding a neighbor's two wheeler but he preferred to raise the adjustable seat on the balance bike a bit and ride that down the hill. Getting on my nephew's two wheeler and being able to ride it independently within FIVE MINUTES was a hard earned/much prized skill for him. Both kids know the steps of bike riding in our family. I compare it more to car ownership. Suppose the family rule is that you may have your own car when you are able to get your license and drive independently. Your oldest child gets his license and is about to get his new (likely used car.) But, then someone gives your younger child a car, for a reason that doesn't make sense to your older child. Is it fair to let the younger child practice driving on her new car before she has earned her license? I say no. We don't have a lot on ongoing traditions and rites of passage in my family. This is really the first big one. The bike is too big, with or without training wheels. She can, however, use the Dora helmet that she's in love with.

 

He is a stranger to her. Strangers do not initiate really close contact. He didn't say anything to her that wasn't really close to her ear, If it was MY father, whom I've known for over 40 years, I would have felt uncomfortable. Even when I was a child. Even if it was my mother and not my father.Obviously there are different cultural norms in play here. My family is loving but not the overtly touchy/feeling type. DD is a very independent kid. She likes hugs and kisses but not many and is mostly on the go. She's never had someone talking to her, or sitting that close, who wasn't me. And this isn't a foster care visit. I can allow, or not allow, types of contact. She has NEVER seen this type of close contact. From anyone- family, close friends, etc.If he wants to see her, then he's going to have to do what she needs.

 

Here's an example that just came to me. Suppose you were a single parent and had been dating someone for an extended period of time. You decided that you think it's the right time for your children to meet this person that you think you might want to spend your life with. You would likely keep the visits casual and allow your children and your SO to get to know each other. You would likely follow your children's cues and end a visit/outing when you see that they aren't feeling comfortable. This man may be her birth father but she doesn't understand that. "Birth father" means nothing to her. He's a stranger that Mommy wants her to meet.

 

I'm looking at this from an ongoing perspective. It's not like she's a foster child who we are preparing to be reunified with a parent she doesn't know. She's an adopted kid who is part of a family. that maintains contact with some birth family members. She doesn't need to be stressed out. She's four.

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#17 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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"...overwhelming a child with gifts the first time you meet them isnt the best way to handle the situation, and hopefully they can find someone to help this man understand that he needs to slow down a bit."

 

I totally agree of that one.

 

Polliwog, I am under the impression (perhaps erroneous) that your DD's biodad is developmentally disabled. This may be affecting my perspective unduly? 

 

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#18 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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Polliwog,

 

I am sorry the visit was so stressful.  It is so hard when birthparents try to overcompensate and make bad choices.  Hopefully things will get easier.  I agree that parks and zoo are better places to visit with older kids.  The other thing that works for us is some sort of craft project, so there is something to do besides being awkard.  You are fighting the good fight for your little girl.  I hope it gets easier : )

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#19 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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I totally agree about stressing a child.  A child who was removed at a young age is very different from a child who remembers their birthparents.  It would completely stress out my daughter to meet her birthfather and that is not something that would be good for her at this point in her life.
 

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I'm looking at this from an ongoing perspective. It's not like she's a foster child who we are preparing to be reunified with a parent she doesn't know. She's an adopted kid who is part of a family. that maintains contact with some birth family members. She doesn't need to be stressed out. She's four.



 

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#20 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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This is not a stranger, this is her birth father. I would step outside yourself for a minute and examine how he feels.  How you dd will feel later. Adoption should be talked about at an early age- much earlier then 4. Your dd does understand if you would explain it to her. She knows babys grow in tummy's. You can make it age appropriate but you do need to tell her. 


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#21 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Whoa. Slow down. I've posting in the Adoption Forum for five or six years. I'm a huge proponent of open adoption when it's safe and healthy for everyone involved. I've got two open adoptions. DS (and DD) was in his birth mother's wedding last summer. We've been to his half-sister's birth day party at his birth mother's apartment and to holiday get-togethers at his birth grandmother's house. We've got close relationships with both of his bio-sisters and their adoptive families. We recently met DD's bio-brothers and their pre-adoptive family. We have been to a park with them and were even invited to their house for Thanksgiving (but won't be attending.) Their being in foster care and being adopted has never been a secret. But, what that all means is something that clicks gradually for kids. It's not a "one-stop explain it all and everything's understood" kind of thing.

 

My kids have learned about adoption in an age-appropriate manner all along. DD's been in my home since she was a baby. She only had ONE visit with her birth father and that was right before the termination happened. She was a toddler. When we were in court for the TPR, I told him that I'd like to have contact once her adoption finalized. But, that the contact info that I was given (for a relative) must have changed and there was no way that I could get in touch. And for a while, he was back with her birth mother and that is a deal breaker for me for safety (and comfort) reasons.

 

I have stepped outside myself and thought about what he feels. I don't know how to further prove that. And I absolutely think about what DD feels now and might feel in the future. I spend hours talking about it with friends (IRL and online.) If I didn't feel it was important to my kids and their birth families, I wouldn't go to all of this trouble. But, the child's needs need to be primary.. He is a genetically-connected stranger right now. I can use the words "birth father" right now even though she doesn't know what that means. Growing in someone's tummy (or uterus) is one thing. It's physically obvious. Fatherhood is different.

 

We read books about adoption, talk about their adoptions, belong to two transracial adoptive parenting groups, and talk about people we know who are adopted. We are embracing the Hispanic side of DD's background. I help others to understand that some language surrounding adoption is hurtful, or confusing, to adopted kids. Like the whole "adopting a family for Christmas" or "adopting a child overseas." I encourage others to use the the term "sponsoring" instead of "adopting" because it's confusing to my, and other, kids. My kids know that we help babies who can't live with their families for some reason. They may not understand that we are a "foster family" but they do know that we are ready and waiting for an infant or toddler to join our family (for a while or forever) if it's needed.

 

You can't tell me that we don't talk about adoption.
 

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Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

This is not a stranger, this is her birth father. I would step outside yourself for a minute and examine how he feels.  How you dd will feel later. Adoption should be talked about at an early age- much earlier then 4. Your dd does understand if you would explain it to her. She knows babys grow in tummy's. You can make it age appropriate but you do need to tell her. 



 

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#22 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Emilie,

 

I don't understand why you would assume that Polliwog hasn't talked to her daughter about adoption.  She is making a huge and difficult effort to foster a relationship with her dd's birthfather so he won't be a stranger.  And I would argue that the child comes first, not the birthparents.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

This is not a stranger, this is her birth father. I would step outside yourself for a minute and examine how he feels.  How you dd will feel later. Adoption should be talked about at an early age- much earlier then 4. Your dd does understand if you would explain it to her. She knows babys grow in tummy's. You can make it age appropriate but you do need to tell her. 



 

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#23 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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I don't understand why she would not tell her that the man who was hugging her was her father. fathers are not different- it takes a man and a woman to create a child- this is the man part.


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#24 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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If you read books about adoption to her how could she not know she has a birthfather?


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#25 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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Emilie this child is FOUR. My son is almost four (will be in January)...there is no way at this point a "birthfather" would be anything other than an abstraction. To HER he IS a stranger. He may be blood related, but she does not KNOW him. IMO unless you've been having a relationship with birthfamily the whole time a toddler or preschooler will not truly understand what it means. My son keeps talking about his "daddy" (because his brother keeps talking about HIS daddy, who he lived with and has strong memories of)...he will point to random houses when we are driving and say "Thats my daddy's house"...he will say "My daddys name is...Red Ranger!" At one point he had some little toy and was walking around saying "this is my daddy" He really has no idea what he is talking about. There is only so much about conception a four yr old can understand. I've been trying to explain about birthfamilies to my son but we usually start with a "you grew in your first mommy's belly but she couldnt take care of you so you were taken to the agency until you could come live with us" type of story....trying to fit in an unknown birthfather with circumstances of conception that are not known to me with a child who doesnt even understand how babies are made yet is NOT EASY.  Its way way harder than i thought it would be.

 

I think part of the problem in the OPs situation is that bdad has been loving and thinking of his daughter this whole time...in his head and heart she is his daughter....but to the little girl, she has NOT been thinking those things, and so to her he is a stranger. You can tell by the way she behaved in the visit she wasnt comfortable because things were allowed to happen that would not normally be acceptable in her family.


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#26 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Guess I misunderstood but it seemed to me that she did not even attempt to tell the dd that it was her birthfather but just a man she knew. I tell my kids all the time things they can't understand so they are familiar with the concept.  Just because she can't understand does not mean it should not be talked about.  I don't think.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

If you read books about adoption to her how could she not know she has a birthfather?


Seriously?  Do you have kids?  (I'm not being snarky, I'm being very serious).  My own extremely advanced almost 8yo doesn't really grasp the concept of birthparents in adoption (his 3yo sister is adopted and it has never been a secret in my family).  He is just barely grasping it beyond "I came out of your belly and she came out of (birthmother's first name)".  Relating it to the birthmother is easy because there's the belly involved.  Even then, my daughter seriously does NOT "get" that part and she's pretty bright.  There's no way she'd be wrapping her head around the birthfather and frankly, because my nearly 8yo hasn't really asked about how babies get made--he doesn't really understand it either.  We are a two-parent heterosexual household and even then birthfathers have never come up.  In fact, birthmothering only came up because her older brother made note of coming out of my belly after seeing a pregnancy picture of me.  At the moment, she'll tell you that her brother came out of my belly and she came out of (bm's name) belly but she's reciting this verbatim vs. understanding it.

 

You can't just tell a kid about it and expect they just "get" it.

 

And yeah, Polliwog has been posting here a long time.  There's nobody that could have possibly read maybe 3 posts of hers to understand that she is profoundly sympathetic to and respectful of a foster/adoptive situation and birthparents.

 

Sorry I missed this post from the beginning.  We've been away and it's been a whirlwind.  But hugs to you.  I'm sure that was really hard; and it sounds like there's a lot more to swallow going forward.

 


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#28 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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I do have kids and they do understand the concept of adoption. They know they have four sets of grandparents on my side- Grandma Sandy who gave birth to me and Grandpa John who is my biological dad, then grandma and grandpa A who are my adoptive parents. They rarely see my bio parents as they live far from me but they are a part of our life and talked about.  My dd is 5 and she will talk about the grandparents that raised mommy and the parents that borned me.  My son is also very advanced at 8 years old and understands it and even some of the complexities of it and is quite compassionate about it.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

I do have kids and they do understand the concept of adoption. They know they have four sets of grandparents on my side- Grandma Sandy who gave birth to me and Grandpa John who is my biological dad, then grandma and grandpa A who are my adoptive parents. They rarely see my bio parents as they live far from me but they are a part of our life and talked about.  My dd is 5 and she will talk about the grandparents that raised mommy and the parents that borned me.  My son is also very advanced at 8 years old and understands it and even some of the complexities of it and is quite compassionate about it.



But those people are real people in her life to her because she has a relationship with them.  If you were to suddenly spring your bio parents on her a year ago, even if you had talked about them in theory, she wouldn't have necessarily grasped the concept.  Especially if she had no other grandparent figures in her life with which to relate the concept to. 


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#30 of 57 Old 11-20-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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She has not seen my bio dad since she was 2 or my bio mom since she was 2. But I do talk about them and we have pictures of them and I tell her who she gets what traits from etc.  My bio mom has very curly hair and my dd has the same hair.  My dd also shows my bmom's personality a lot. She also looks just like my bio dad's twin sister. Ds looks just like my bio dad at that age. Those are the things that are age appropriate...Kids are naturally curious about things like that- i know I was.  I am so glad I can tell my kids about where they come from.  All of it.


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